The Story of Crowdoscope

In April 2010 I was sitting in Unilever’s London Headquarters, where I was working as Head of Employee Insight, when an email arrived in my inbox. That’s really where it all started. The email was from a colleague who’d attended a conference in San Francisco where he’d seen a presentation by Ken Goldberg – an artist, inventor and UC Berkeley Professor focusing on robotics. Ken and his team had been exploring new approaches to online comment systems using interactive data visualisations. When I saw what Ken and his team were working on, I flew to California to find out more.

Six months later I quit my job at Unilever toset up Silverman Research – with a focus on exploring how the traditional survey could be enhanced through new technologies in the areas of social media, text analysis, social network analysis and data visualisation as user interface. Working in part with UC Berkeley, Unilever and a handful of forward thinking companies, I spent a couple of years immersing myself in these new areas, before sketching out the blue print for what would become Crowdoscope – an interactive survey and discussion tool for real-time collective intelligence.

Over the last few years, we’ve worked hard to build Crowdoscope and get it off the ground. The process began back in 2013 and whilst at times it has been exasperating, it has also been extremely rewarding. We’ve been very lucky to work with some great people and to have some great companies using the tool. We are equally excited about the future of Crowdoscope as we work to further develop the system.

In this video, which you can watch here, I outline the story of Crowdoscope, introduced by Unilever’s Director of People Analytics – Ben Hawley. Have a look if you’re interested in why we built Crowdoscope and what it takes to get from a sketch on a bit of paper to bringing a new technology to market.


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